Expert view: the EHIC and expectations

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Caroline Lloyd: loves it down the Rovers
"Suddenly, that travel insurance you’ve picked up for about the price of a round of drinks doesn’t seem that expensive at all"
  • | by Caroline Lloyd

If I’ve learned anything from decades of watching Blackburn Rovers, it’s the importance of managing your expectations.

It turns out that expecting too much is something that a lot of holidaymakers have been doing this summer, according to research we’ve conducted at

No, we’re not talking about those various baffling complaints made to holiday tour operators famously documented by Thomas Cook. (“The sand was too hot”, anyone?)

We’re talking about the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), and what people believe it will provide them with if they come a cropper on holiday.

Now, the EHIC is a very useful item, and best of all, it’s free. It’ll provide you with the same basic state care of medical provision if you’re in a EU country or Switzerland.

But it’s no substitute for travel insurance.

Still, that hasn’t stopped a whopping 50% of 1,820 people recently surveyed, who thought it entitled them to free emergency treatment in Europe, with an additional 5% of people thinking that they’d get patched up for free anywhere in the world, and 7% of people thinking that an EHIC would pay for medical repatriation, which is massively pricey. (The cost of flying one seriously ill British holidaymaker home from the Canary Islands by jet air ambulance was nearly £23,000, since you ask).

Over-estimating your European Health Insurance Card and getting stiffed with a big bill is what we in the trade call an ‘EHIC-cup’ (ok, maybe just me then) and should be avoided at all cost.

Suddenly, that travel insurance you’ve picked up for about the price of a round of drinks doesn’t seem that expensive at all… especially when you consider that it won’t just cover you in case you fall ill or are injured, but will also include varying degrees of cover for baggage and cancellation too.

Thankfully, we’ve spent many hours expertly honing’s own travel insurance comparison service so you can quickly sniff out a deal that gives you the cover you need at the right price. Plus, Defaqto’s helpful star-rating system will help you find the policy with the most bang for your buck.

Now, if only they could get round to doing the same with the Rovers' summer transfer targets...